Hey, it's a new story! I know! Took me SO MANY HOURS to write this. It was originally gonna be a oneshot but, well, 30+ pages on Word made me decide to chop it up. So this chapter is the shortest but don't worry, there's a whoooole lot more to come. Enjoy! :D

Krissa Taylor, Evangeline Jonson, Julian Wilde.

The three met at the ripe young age of five when shy Evangeline was being bullied during recess and Krissa and Julian had swooped in heroically to save the day. They'd been inseparable ever since.

It had been eleven years since then and the three best friends were as close as ever. One was never without the other two. Their names were naturally strung together, and their classmates knew better than to come between them.

That's not to say that they didn't each have other friends. They did, of course, just none so close as these three were with each other. However, some of their feelings went far beyond that of pure friendship…

. . .

"Yo, Angel, Kris! Wait up!" The two girls turned and waited expectantly for their best friend to catch up to them.

"Hey, Julian," Krissa greeted. "I thought you were getting a ride home today."

"So did I, but it turns out that my carpool forgot and already left." Julian grinned disarmingly, "Good thing Angel walks slow."

"Jules!" Evangeline whined uncharacteristically and sighed. "I told you to stop calling me Angel! It makes me feel like a kid."

"Aw, come on, Angel, it fits you. Besides, you look like a kid, since you're so short." He smirked at the short girl, but quickly jumped away when said girl's elbow jutted out at him. "Ooh, missed!"

"Now, now, children, no violence," Krissa scolded jokingly. She looked fondly at Evangeline and warned, "You know he's never gonna stop calling you Angel. I say it too, sometimes, but you never get mad at me. Still, I don't get why you're offended. Angel is such a nice name! I'd love to be called that."

"Hmph. Well, I don't mind when you call me that, because you say it normally, but Julian always sounds so patronizing when he says it. It annoys the heck outta me," Evangeline pouted cutely.

"I know it does," Julian smirked, "which is why I'm not gonna stop."

She glared at him out of the corner of her eye and proceeded to ignore him.

Chuckling, Julian observed sagely, "You know, the real you is way different from what everyone else sees. You're…whinier. And brattier."

Evangeline pretended not to hear him, but her calm façade was ruined by her twitching eye.

"Hey, your eye's twitchy. Was it something I said?" he snickered at her.

Evangeline's eyes narrowed as she contemplated violence, but decided to simply keep brushing him off and be considerate of Krissa. Surely Kris must be exasperated with them now.

"Okay, okay, I'm kidding. What I really meant to say was that, you know, you're actually pretty cute," Julian managed to cough out before clearing his throat and cursing himself for saying something so embarrassing.

He missed the strange look that Krissa threw in his direction.

He also forgot that Evangeline had extremely low self-esteem.

"Jules!" Evangeline jabbed him painfully. Her face had turned an interesting shade of bright red and her heart was pounding so deafeningly, the entire world must have heard it. "Stop lying! It's not funny, you know." Her face paled slightly, but her heart continued rampaging.

Somewhere in the recesses of her rational mind, she knew that this was a pretty over-the-top reaction. Julian had complimented her before occasionally, and this had never happened.

Then again, Evangeline had just recently started to realize that Julian was, indeed, a guy. A creature of the male species. Somehow, he had always been simply Julian before.

What changed?

But it's not like Julian himself was any different. So it was her. It must be her. She was acting differently.

Julian sputtered, "Wha – hey! Do you know how embarrassing it was to say that? No way in hell I was lying!" He nursed his bruising side. "And dammit, what the hell was that for? Usually people are grateful when someone compliments them, you idiot."

"Well, I'd be grateful if it was true!" she retorted.

Krissa had been silent throughout the conversation, but now she piped up. "He's not lying," she chirped brightly, "you are cute. Really, really cute!"

Julian looked triumphantly at Evangeline. "See? If only you stopped hiding behind those dorky glasses and actually talked to people, everyone else would see how cute you are too."

"I know I'm a social reject, no need to remind me," Evangeline muttered wryly. She eyed her two best friends dubiously. "Hey, you guys aren't sick or something, right? Out of nowhere, calling me cute, when you've seen me eat an entire large pizza by myself and you've seen my tantrums and you've seen all my bad sides. It's no wonder that I'm not gonna believe you."

"But it's true!" Krissa smiled. "You should be more confident in yourself, Angel. You're a really amazing girl. Believe in yourself a little more. And if you ever decide to get a new wardrobe," she added, crinkling her nose endearingly in distaste as she thought of her best friend's clothes, "let me know. We'll go shopping!"

"But, Kris, I like my clothes! I don't get what's wrong with them!" Evangeline complained.

Krissa sighed in exasperation. "How many times have I told you? Your clothes are, like, baggy and weird. And you definitely need contacts. Your brown eyes are too adorable to be blocked by those glasses. And you totally need a new hairstyle. Tying it up in the same careless pigtails every day is not gonna attract any boys, you know."

Julian tensed slightly, but neither of the girls noticed.

Rolling her eyes, Evangeline replied, "Look, Kris, I don't need to look good for guys, okay? I don't want to attract any guys, and even if I did, if it's meant to be, then it shouldn't matter how I look, the guy should like me anyway!"

"If you say so!" Krissa sang. "But it still doesn't hurt to look nice in public, right?"

"I guess…" Evangeline gave in grudgingly, "Fine. Let's go shopping this weekend, okay?"

"Seriously?" Krissa gasped.

Evangeline nodded.

Squealing, Krissa jumped up and down and threw her arms around Evangeline's tiny stature. "Yes! It's gonna be so fun!"

"Can I tag along?" Julian finally cut in, quirking an eyebrow.

"No!" Krissa glared fiercely. "It's gonna be a girls' night out!"

He rolled his eyes. "We'll see about that."

© Copyright 2011 by The Siege